AoS Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Tactics

Age of Sigmar Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Wizard Hero

Lord Barrek was in serious trouble. The Orruk Warlord in front of him was just too big and tough. He could feel the cracked bones burn as he desperately fought for his life. All of a sudden Barrek felt a surge of energy flood through his veins. A quick glance behind revealed Calif finishing one of his incantations. At the same time Barrek could feel bones in his body bind back together and flesh in the being made whole again. The Orruk Warlord was enraged with the trickery before him, his prey was becoming whole again. In a fit of anger the Warlord raised his mighty blade to smash the remaining life from Barrek. In doing so left the Warlord open for a second and Barrek took the opportunity, and his new found strength to peirce the Warlord where Barrek hoped his hart was and then twisted the blade for good measure. The Warlord let out a blood curdling cry to Gorkk. The closest Orruks turned to see their champion mortally impailed. They too echo the Warlord. Other Orruks turned to look and like a wave of sound the ripples of lamentation spread over the battlefield. As the howling became a eerie silence the Orruk turned and started to leave the battlefield. As if by a miracle the Warg was finished. The Orruks headed back to their homeland plains, and the free peoples would see another spring.

The Collegiate Arcane is the college of magic that the Free Peoples of Sigma go to if they need a Battlemage. These Battlemages protect the army from enemy wizards and to cause magic mayhem of their own!

Battlemages are not designed for close-quarter fighting. With a 6+ save most opposition will slice through their 5 wounds with ease. If it does come to the crunch you may get a lucky hit in as the Mages have a single attack with the usual 33.33% chance of hitting but comes with a -1 rend and D3 wounds! My advice though would be to keep your magic user behind a wall of warriors.

He’s My Hero!

One often overlooked feature of the Battlemage is that he is a Hero. This does not improve is usefulness directly, but some units have special bonuses if they are near a Hero, Human Hero, or Order Hero.

Look for the units with special rules that activate if you are near a hero and think about how you can use the unit and the Battlemage as a mini formation.

Battlemage Magic

With Mages, Wizards, and other magic users, the main source of usefulness comes from the spells and magic that they can wield. This is the case with the Battlemage too.

All Battlemages come with 3 spells they can cast. The first two are the standard Arcane Shield and Mystic Bolt. The Third spell comes from a list of 8 on the Battlemage warscroll and needs to be selected as you set up the model. Note that if for some reason you do not need to set up the Battlemage until partway through the game, you can see how the game is playing out before you choose your 3rd spell!

If you are playing using the rules from the Generals Handbook then you will probably be using the ‘rule of one’. This rule says that no spell can be used twice it one round, so you can not have two wizards casting Arcane Bolt in the same turn. If you have several wizards this can get limiting, Two reduce the limitation, I recommend that you give each Battlemage a different third spell.

Chain Lightning

Lightning Flash Chain Lighting is a direct damage spell that is very useful against massed units. If you can force your enemy in to a confined space then this may be the spell for you! It casts on a 6+, which is over half the time, but only just! However it will cause D3 mortal wounds to the target unit, and then there is a 1in6 chance for each other unit within 6″ of the first to cause D3 mortal wounds on them too!

So what is the best way to use this spell? First, as I mentioned, you need to herd the enemy in to a large group. You may find this spell works better if there is a lot of scenery on the table or if  you can flank the enemy so that they become concentrated  in one spot. The next step is to place your battlemage where you can cast a spell on one of the central units, preferably when your battlemage is near an Arcane scenery piece to get the +1 on your spell casting. Also having a bodyguard of warriors between the battlemage and the enemy will reduce the chance of having a counter attack on the mage! Now I know that it will be very rare that you can get all these elements in place, but the closer you get to the perfect situation the better!

Fireball

Fireball Fireball does not need and introduction, it does what you expect, blasts a ball of fire at your opponent! It is also similar to Arcane Bolt when it comes to range and casting value. What is different is that Fireball is more random when it comes to damage. If you successfully cast Fireball you roll a D6 ( D3 really), on 1 or 2 the target suffers 1 mortal wound, on a roll of 3 or 4, you get to cause D3 wounds, and on a 5 or 6 to get to cause D6 wounds!

So how do you use this spell? The main tactical point is to target units that have 6 wounds or more. Smaller, weaker units may run out of wounds if you roll a 6, and that seems a wast of mortal wounds. The next point to consider is that this spell is very random. You need to roll to cast, then hope that it will not be dispelled, then roll for spell strength, and last of all roll for number of mortal wounds. This means that this spell could be very effective, or not work at all! With this in mind, try to have a backup plan. One where if the spell works really well you can take advantage of it, and on where if it goes horribly wrong you can get out of there!

Soul Steal

Soul Steal SpellThe Souls Steal spell creates a battle of bravery. Once cast both players roll a D6 and add this to their bravery scores. If the battlemage gets a higher final score then the target unit suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to the difference between the two scores. So if you win by 3 then the target unit receives 3 mortal wounds!

Don’t worry if you loose the roll off. This spell does not backfire!

So how do you use this spell? Well the first point to note is that he battlemages bravery is 6. This is not high by any measure, so if you can increase the mage’s bravery somehow this will help. Inspiring scenery will help, as will some command abilities, and maybe spells cast by other friendly nearby mages. In the same way look for targets with lower bravery scores. Night Golblins and Trolls make good targets. In addition, friendly units near sinister scenery can reduce the bravery of enemy units around then, as can some spells too.

In summary this spell may need you to have several elements in place for it to work well. But then the organising of units for the best results is what tactics is all about!

Light Of Battle

Many time a wizard can do more to win a battle by aiding friendly units than he can by causing direct damage. This is one of those spells.

Light of Battle works in a similar way to the Inspiring Presence command ability but with a batch of bonuses. First off it has an 18″ range (over the 12″ of the Inspiring Presence ability), and the second advantage is that it gives all the other friendly units within 6″ of the target unit in the battle shock phase get +1 bravery.

Final Transmutation

This is another direct damage spell a Battlemage can cast, and it is designed for those who like to kick the opponent while they are down!

How it works is you pick a unit in 18″, roll to see if the spell works, and then pick a model in that unit as the target. Now some units are single models like heroes or monsters. However in multi-model units you can pick out the one you want to target. This may be the unit leader or banner carrier, or a multi-wound model that has already taken some wounds. Note that the mage does not need to be able to see the target model, just any model from the unit.

Once you have picked your target and made sure the spell goes off, then you roll a D6. If you roll greater that the remaining number of wounds for that model then it changes in to a golden statue & is out of the game! Note that the target does not suffer mortal wounds, so it does not get a chance save against wounds or mortal wounds!

So how do you use Final Transmutation spell? Well as I said at the top, look for wounded characters or monsters with a couple of wounds left and finish them off! Otherwise look for units that have one or two wounds per model and snipe a model out of the unit. Remember that units get +1 bravery for every 10 models, so smaller units make better targes. My favorite targets are Chaos Warriors that have 5+ saves against mortal wounds. With this spell you can pick off the units leader or banner carrier with ease!

Mystifying Miasma

Mystifying Miasma a spell that does not damage your opponent directly, but causes them to be weaker than usual. In this case if the spell is successfully cast then the target unit becomes a bit befuddled and has 1 subtracted from their to hit rolls.

So how do you use this spell? With this spell you want to target units that will be shooting or in combat this turn. The more attacks you think they will make, the better target they become. Another way to look at it is to protect a key friendly unit by reducing the incoming hits. A cannon may only have one shot, But if you can stop it from firing at your general then it may be worth trying to block the shot!

Wildform

Beast man eye. This is another of those spells that helps your friends rather than kills the enemy directly. With this spell you choose a friendly unit within 18″ of the wizard and roll 6+ on 2D6 plus any bonuses. If the spell activates then the target unit gets +1 to wound in thier combat phase or phases untill your next command phase. So if your enemy gets double turn you get your combat phase and their combat phases.

So how do you use this spell? The key issue with the Wildfire spell is that it only works on friendly units in close combat, or just about to enter close combat. This may include the Battlemage himself. However as the Battlemage is not great in close combat you will want to have him protected by warriors anyway!

So have your Battlemage near the front line, but protected by warriors. Have the warriors engage in close combat, and have the Battlemage use this spell on them to give them an extra boost!

Lifesurge

The last spell it the Battlemage spell book is Lifesurge. This spell can heal wounds of nearby units and give them a 1 in 6 chance of shrugging off wounds until your next hero phase.

This spell does not raise the dead back to life! The target model needs to be on the table when the spell is cast. As the dead are immediately removed, they will not be there to heal. In a similar way you can not heal models in reserve either!

So how do you use this spell? Well you need to have your Battlemage near a unit of multi-wound models. Heroes and monsters are usually single model multi-wound units, so they will do nicely! Also if you pick a unit that you expect will need to make several saves in the next round, all the better! Remember that the Battlemage himself is a multi-wound character and you can cast spells on yourself!

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AoS Order Free Peoples Freeguild General

The Freeguild General is a natural General to choose if you are fielding a Free Peoples army. He comes either on foot or on horse and can be armed in a number of ways.

In the Warhammer Fantasy Battles game the Freeguild models made up the Empire army. If you have, or can get hold of some Warhammer Empire models then you will have the core of a Freeguild army.

The first point at note is that the Freeguild General comes either on horse or on foot and the two play quite differently.

General Freeguild General on Foot Tactic

AoS Human Freepeoples General on foot woth 2 handed weaponThe Freeguild General on foot was the Battle Standard Bearer in the 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

The Freeguild General on foot is a great general to have supporting your rank and file units. He can be armed with a great weapon that will aid the troops if you are faced with a monstrous creature. The Freeguild General’s Command ability will be useful keeping the rank and file troopers in order.

Another option is to arm the General on foot with a sword and war banner. This improves the battleshock rolls for all Free peoples units in 24″ range. 24″ is quite a reach, however this improves if you control the centre of the table, and the centre of your table.

General Freeguild General on Warhorse Tactic

On a horse the Freeguild General has the advantage of additional speed. The General on a Warhorse can move up to 12″ per movement phase, although his run and charge range are not affected. The addition of a horse also adds the horse’s attacks and the option to take a lance.

With the extra speed the Freeguild General is able to move up and down the battle line bolstering and supporting whichever area needs the most support. Other options though include moving away from the front lines to strike at the enemy flanks or small abandoned units. Be aware though that your general will not stand long if he is caught unsupported be a sizeable enemy unit. You will need to pick your targets carefully.

The Freeguild General with warhouse can take a lance instead of the sigmarite sword. The lance gives an advantage on the charge in to a new assault. This means that if you get stuck in a protracted combat you loose any benifit after the first round, and you don’t even get that benifit if the enemy charges you. This means that if you arm, or have a model with a lance, your best option is to pick out targets that you can wipeout in one round, and probably with a bodyguard of horseman to make up a fast response strike force.

 

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AoS Order Free Peoples Tactics

The Stormcast Eternal are not the only humans fighting to restore order in the Age of Sigmar realms. There are also the forces of Bretonnia and the also the Empire / Guilds. In this section we will have a look at the tactics for Free Peoples!

The two Human forces have opposing styles of play. The Bretonnia army consists of Elite Knights backed up by low quality serfs and archers. The Empire and Guilds army usually consists of larger units of pike men and musketeers backed up with a few elite units of magic users and horsemen. To really mix things up have a think about fielding the best of each army to create really effective force!

Forces of the Freeguilds

The forces of the Freeguilds seem to be styled on the armies of the Renaissance Wars that raged through Italy between 1494 to 1559. The Freeguilds are models from the Warhammer Fantasy Battles where it was a well developed army. This means that you should be able to find units to fulfil most needs.

AoS Human Free Peoples General on foot with 2 handed weapon

AoS Free Peoples General on foot with 2 handed weapon

  • Freeguild General on Griffon
  • Freeguild General on Horse and Foot
  • Demigryph Knights
  • Freeguild Outriders
  • Freeguild Pistolers
  • Freeguild Greatswords
  • Freeguild Guard
  • Freeguild Handgunners
  • Freeguild Crossbowmen
  • Freeguild Archers

Forces of the Bretonnia

The forces of Bretonnia seem to be based on a romanticised version of the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and specially the quest for the Holy Grail (which as far as I can tell, never happened!). What we are left with is an army rich with Knights is armour, Maidens wielding magic, and foot solderers up from up from the untrained ( and unwashed ) serfs ( that’s blue collar worker in today’s terms).

Although the Bretonnians where created for the Warhammer Fantasy Battles game they had not received an update for many years. In many ways the release of Age of Sigmar has brought new life to this army and many players are dusting off their old Bretonnian models and seeing how they perform in this new game.

  • King Louen Leoncoeur
  • Bretonnian Lord
  • The Green Knight
  • The Fay Enchantress
  • Damsel of the Lady on Foot, Horse, and Pegasus
  • Pegasus Knights
  • Paladin Standard Bearer
  • Grail Knights
  • Questing Knights
  • Knights of the Realm
  • Knights Errant
  • Mounted Yomen
  • Men-at-arms
  • Peasant Bowmen
  • Field Trebuchet

Forces of the Collegiate Arcane

Age of Sigmar Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Wizard HeroThe magic users of the Free Peoples can be found in the Collegiate Arcane.  This section also includes the wagon contraptions that the Collegiate have created too.

Ironweld Arsenal

The Ironweld Arsenal includes both Human and Duardin artillery units. Adding artillery to your forces adds an extra punch that can floor monstrous creatures. However you need to be careful with artillery units too. They are not overly mobile. Be sure to give your artillery units a body guard or else fast enemy units may flank you and take out your precious artillery.

The human units in the Ironweld Arsenal are:

  • Gunmaster
  • Hellblaster Volley Gun
  • Hellstorm Rocket Battery
  • Steam Tank
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AoS Stormcast Eternal Lord-Celestant on Dragoth Tactics

Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternal Lord-Celerant on Dragoth from http://taleofpainters.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/showcase-stormcast-eternals-lord_23.html

The Lord-Celestant is a  major character in the Storm cast Eternal army. The Lord-Celestant is strong, highly skilled and well armed. With this model he rides a Dragoth. This gives him extra speed and more attacks.

The Lord-Celestant on Dragoth is one of the models that are included in the Age of Sigma starter box so you can be sure that you will see a number of these models in Age of Sigma battles. This means that even if you do not play Stormcast Eternals you will need to know it’s strengths and weaknesses.

So with that let’s look at…

Lord-Celestant General Tactics

The Lord-Celestant does not have any shooting weapons so he is best getting stuck in the fight. However without support your Lord-Celestant will be easy pray for any sizeable mob of enemy. This means that you will need to use him in coordination with other units. This is specially true if your Lord-Celestant is your general. This is because your Generals Abilities have a range limit and if he is out on his own then he will be less effective.

Also be aware that the Lord-Celestant’s weapon has a big effect on the best way to use him.

Lord-Celestant on Dragoth Strength and Weapons

The Lord-Celestant has one of four weapon options; Tempestos Hammer, Thunderaxe, Lighting Hammer, and the Stormstrike Glaive. Each of these weapons have basic weapon stats and special rules.

Once a model has been built you will not be able to swap the weapon that you give your model. With this in mind you may want to read the rules for the different weapons and pick the one that most suits your playing style. If you have already built your Lord-Celestant, limited to the weapons available on the sprue, or ant to pick a weapon because it looks good ( and playing games is secondary ), then oto not fear! All the weapons are great. You will just need to adapt your playing style to match the weapon.

Tempestos Hammer

With 5 in  9 (55.55%) chance of wounding, -1 rend and D3 damage the tempest hammer is quite a weapon. You get 3 attacks with this weapon per combat round, so you can expect 1 to 2 wounds per turn (166.65% chance of wounding). However on the turn that you charge in you get and extra D3 attacks ( so you get the usual 3 attacks plus another 1 to 3) which brings the average number of wounds before any saves to 2.5 a round (249.97% chance).

Because the Lord-Celestant does so much additional damage on the charge with this weapon this is what him doing as often as possible. So it follows that you do not want him stuck in long multi-turn combats, but assaulting smaller groups, may be with support, that you can wipe out or chase off in a turn, and be available to assault another group the next turn.

Thunderaxe

The Thunder Axe has less chance of wounding than the ( 3 attacks with 44.44% chance of wounding  = 133.32%),causes less damage, and has the same number of attacks. So why choose the Thunder Axe? The answer is in the special rules. With the Thunderaxe the Lord-Celestant gets an extra attack for each of your Storm Cast units within 5″. A few things to note here. First they need to be your Storm Cast Units. If you have two player on one side, you can not count units from your allies. Second, it’s one hit per unit, not model, and there is not much space in a 5″ radius to fit many units, or even just one model from a number of units ( which is all you need ). This means that if you organize things well you may get 2 or 3 extra attacks. However you get these attacks every combat round, and not just the one that you charged in. This means that the Thunderaxe suits players that like to surround their Lord-Celestant with friendly units and mob up on targets.

Lightning Hammer

The Lightning Hammer has a very similar basic stats line to the Thunder Hammer, although it has a shorter range.So 3 attacks with 44.44% chance of wounding each making a 133.32% chance of wounding per turn ( 1 and 1/3rd wounds per combat phase). However the special rules say that you get 2 additional immortal wounds on a roll of 6+ to hit. The ‘plus’ bit is in-case there are any bonuses to hit in effect. And again these are in addition to the normal wounds making this a powerful weapon, specially if you can conjure up some to-hit bonuses! Also notice that this bonus applies to all combat rounds, both yours and theirs. In essence then, this is a great weapon to have if you like your Lord-Celerant to go it alone and face mighty Heroes and Monsters on his own ( not recommended but very heroic ).

Stormstrike Glaive

The Stormestrike Glaive is a spear with a nasty blade in the end. It has the least chance of hitting per attack (33.33%), but it does get 4 attacks instead of 3 (total chance of wounding is 133.33% or 1 and 1/3 wounds per combat phase before saves). So again why would you choose this weapon? Again the answers are in the special rules. If you  charge in with this weapon you cause 3 wounds with -2 rend. This means that this becomes a good monster killer weapon. Again this bonus is only on the charge so you want to avoid protracted combats and target smaller easier to kill, or easy to finish off.

.. And Don’t Forget about the Dragoth!

With all these weapon options available to your Lord-Celestant you may be tempted to over look the snarling beast with bad breath that he is sitting on! The Dragoth has two attacking methods, his claws and fangs, and that bad breath (Storm Breath).

The Claws and Fangs are formidable, with 3 attacks with 44.44% chance of wounding  (= 133.32% or 1 and 1/3rd wounds per combat phase), however he also gets an Intolerable Damage special rule that means that if you roll a wound roll of 6+ ( including any bonuses) then the Dragoth causes D6 wounds.

The second weapon does not appear on the weapons list but should be not over looked. The Storm Breath is a 4″ blast template weapon with 12″ range and does not scatter ( in WH40k terms). Remember that you can measure before you decide where to place this template and that both friends and foe are affected by it and you do not have to pick a unit as the target, you can choose open ground. Line of sight is not needed either. Once you have picked your target point all units in 2″ of that point have a 50/50 chance of getting D3 immortal wounds. A 12″ range is not great, but this could thin out the opposition before assaulting and during a protracted multi-round close combat.

Lord-Celestant on Dragoth Command Ability – Lord of Hosts

This ability is and upgrade of the basic Inspiring Presence ability. The difference is that it creates a 24″ ‘bubble’ at the start of the command phase and all the Stormcast Eternals in the bubble do not have to take battle shock tests until the next command phase. Note that this only affects Stormcast Eternal units, so if you have a mixed force it is less effective, also if those units move out of the 24″ bubble they are still covered by the ability. Also any units that move into the 24″ bubble later are not covered. This could cause confusion so you may want to mark affected units with a marker (dice or piece of paper).

 

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AoS Stormcast Eternal Liberator Tactics

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Stormcast Liberators. Picture copyright Games Workshop

In this post we will have a look at the Liberators from the Stormcast Eternal Age of Sigmar army and how to use them in Age of Sigmar games. Liberators are the core warriors of the human forces for good found in the Realm Gates wars starter box set.

The basic tactics used for the Liberator are nice and simple, engage the enemy as soon as possible or form a wall of warriors that stops your opponent getting to where they want to get them.

Stormcast special rule – Lay low the Tyrants

This special rule allows you to add 1 to the hit rolls when you attack a model with 5 wounds or more. This gives the Stormcast a role, specially if your are fielding Stormcast Liberators with other human forces. Have your regular forces defending or claiming objectives, and have your Liberators going for the big guys!

Stormcast Eternal Liberator Weapons

The Liberators can be armed with either hammer/sword and shield, two hammers/ swords, or some big two handed hammers/ swords. I group hammers and swords together because 3 to hit and 4 to wound weapons have exactly the same chance to wound as weapons that have 4 to hit and 3 to wound ( 1/3rd of the time or 33.333% ).

Sword/Hammer and Shield

This is the normal configuration for a Liberator. It gives a good balance of attack and defence. The Liberator get a very useful 4+ save, so a full half normal wounds will be saved. The shield allows you to re-roll rolls of 1 too, so half of them will be saved too. Note that if you roll a 1 the 2nd time you have to keep it, You can not keep re-rolling 1’s! Also note that having some extra cover from trees and etc is still useful.

Paired Weapons

Having a pair of weapons means that you give up the extra save in favour of re-rolling 1’s to hit. It will make a small difference in the number of times you land a wound, An extra 8.33% to be precise, so don’t get too excited by it!

So, which should you choose, weapon and shield, or two weapons? Well as the performance is so close, just choose  which ever looks good for you! Or a mixture of both!

Stormcast Liberators and Great Weapons

One in 5 Liberators can carry a great two handed weapon. These warriors give up the extra saves you get from having a shield in favour of causing an extra point of damage and the ability to slice through / crush armour more easily. It game terms this is very useful. I would highly recommend taking these weapons when you can.

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